If you stop to think about it your body really is an incredible machine. When it senses some sort of foreign presence—such as bacteria, pollen or a chemical—or it detects an injury, your immune system automatically kicks into high gear sending an army of cells to the trouble spot to begin repairs.
This process, known as inflammation, is designed to protect your health and help you heal. But if inflammation doesn’t switch back off after the danger is dealt with it can turn from hero to villain fast.
Chronic inflammation is like hitting the fast forward button on aging. It causes damage and is linked to many of the major diseases that make us old before our time including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis and Alzheimer’s.
So what causes chronic inflammation? Well, not getting enough quality sleep and stress—both common problems in our modern world—are two big contributors to out-of-control inflammation. As is the average America diet, which is loaded with inflammatory refined flour and sugar, fried foods, artificial sweeteners and food additives.
Slash aging inflammation with anti-inflammatory foods
One of the best ways to fight dangerous chronic inflammation and put the brakes on aging is to switch to a healthier diet that includes plenty of anti-inflammatory foods.
Following are 4 inflammation fighting foods that could help you stop, or reverse, your own clock.
A growing stack of studies has linked coffee with better overall health and longevity. But the new study published in Nature Medicine may have finally revealed why.1 We’ve known for some time that the caffeine in coffee blocks adenosine. Now researchers theorize that in the process of blocking adenosine the caffeine may also be blocking pathways that produce inflammatory molecules. So if you’re already a coffee fan drink up. Just be sure to skip inflammation triggering sugar and sweetened creamers.
Berries are brimming with the inflammation fighting flavonoids known as anthocyanins. And it turns out making berries a part of your daily diet could significantly slash inflammation, according to research published in the Journal of Nutrition.2 While all berries can help drive down chronic inflammation it turns out blueberries are at the top of the heap. Blueberries contain far more anthocyanins than any other berry. Plus they bring inflammation fighting vitamin C and resveratrol to the table too, both of which target inflammatory free radicals.
3. Wild caught salmon:
The typical American diet doesn’t contain nearly enough anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids. According to experts increasing the omega-3s in your diet can literally slash your risk of disease and even death.3 And fatty fish—such as wild caught salmon—are a terrific source of EPA and DHA, active forms of omega-3 which can help drive down inflammation and fight a variety of age-related diseases.4
4. Green tea:
Catechins are disease fighting phytochemicals found naturally in tea leaves. Research has revealed they may help reduce your risk for major diseases such as Alzheimer’s, cancer and heart disease. And studies show these anti-inflammatory compounds can help calm and reverse inflammation like the kind seen with conditions such as arthritis.5,6,7 Green tea contains a particularly powerful catechin called epigallocatechin gallatte (EGCG), making it an even more effective at calming inflammation than black tea, according to a study published in the Journal of Advanced Technology & Research.8
1. “Expression of specific inflammasome gene modules stratifies older individuals into two extreme clinical and immunological states,” Nature Medicine, 16 January 2017
2. “Anthocyanins Inhibit Nuclear Factor-κB Activation in Monocytes and Reduce Plasma Concentrations of Pro-Inflammatory Mediators in Healthy Adults,” J. Nutr. August 2007, vol. 137 no. 8 1951-1954
3. “Dietary omega-3 fatty acids aid in the modulation of inflammation and metabolic health,” Calif Agric (Berkeley). 2011 July-September; 65(3): 106–111
4. “Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Inflammatory Processes,” Nutrients. 2010 Mar; 2(3): 355–374
5. “Anti-inflammatory actions of green tea catechins and ligands of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors,” Int J Exp Pathol. 2004 Aug; 85(4): A75
6. “Tea catechins reduce inflammatory reactions via mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways in toll-like receptor 2 ligand-stimulated dental pulp cells,” Life Sci. 2010 Apr 24;86(17-18):654-60
7. “In vitro Comparison of Anti-Inflammatory Activity of Green Tea Catechins,” The FASEB Journal, vol. 30 no. 1 Supplement 916.4
8. “Evaluation of anti-inflammatory effects of green tea and black tea: A comparative in vitro study,” J Adv Pharm Technol Res. 2012 Apr-Jun; 3(2): 136–138
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